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Leadership: Wuhan Mayor Not “Authorized” to Release Epidemic Information to the Public Before

The Wuhan government has been criticized for failing to disclose critical information, including the severity of the virus and the fact that it could be transmitted from person to person. Wuhan Major Zhou Xianwang said that, before January 20, he had not been “authorized” to do so.

In an interview with the China Central Television (CCTV) on January 27, 2020, Zhou apologized for not releasing the epidemic information to the public earlier. He stated that “as a local government, I could not release information until I received information and authorization.” “Especially after January 20, the State Council had a meeting, defining it as a category B infectious disease but deciding to handle it as a category A infectious disease. It then asked the local government to be responsible and we could be therefore be more active in our work.”

He didn’t mention when they knew about the information.

Both Caixin and The Beijing News reported his statement.

1. Excerpt in Chinese:

新京报快讯(记者 邓琦)1月27日,武汉市市长周先旺接受央视专访时表示,对于疫情披露不及时,希望大家理解,它是传染病,传染病有传染病防治法,要依法披露,作为地方政府,我获得信息之后,授权之后才能披露,这一点在当时不被理解。

他表示,随后新型肺炎被纳入乙类传染病,按照甲类管理之后,武汉采取了一系列主动措施。

Source: The Beijing News, January 27, 2020
http://www.bjnews.com.cn/news/2020/01/27/680293.html

2. Excerpt in Chinese:

周先旺:前面这个披露的不及时,这一点大家要理解,因为它是传染病,传染病有传染病防治法,它必须依法披露,作为地方政府,我获得这个信息以后,授权以后,我才能披露,所以这一点在当时很多不理解。后来特别是元月20日,国务院召开常务会议,确定了这个病作为乙类传染病,并进行甲类传染病的管理,而且要求属地负责,从这之后,我们认为我们的工作就主动多了。

Source: Caixin, January 27, 2020
http://china.caixin.com/2020-01-27/101508817.html